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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 17:14 Thread Starter
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Mobile Broadband. UK.

Hi All,

I've used a Vodafone USB dongle for quite a few years while out in the van in the UK. Most of the time I have had a good signal/speed.

I am now interested in the "hotspot" units which create a Wi-Fi connection for two devices. Vodafone have these.

Does anyone have experience of these with regard to network coverage in the UK. I would need a Pay as you go tariff.

Regards,
sennen523.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 17:56
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I guess the "hotspot" unit is like a MiFi. If so they are excellent devices and I have used one for several years. I also have a Vodafone dongle as well as data sim cards for O2 and 3. Without any shadow of a doubt the coverage and speed on 3 has been vastly better than the other two networks - except possibly in towns and cities when they are much the same. I read a survey recently somewhere (Which or similar) and that concluded the same i.e. 3 provides the best coverage in the UK.

Therefore if thinking about replacing your Vodafone dongle I would strongly recommend that you consider a MiFi (either locked to 3 or preferably unlocked) with a 3 sim card.

Peter
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 18:19
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If you already have a smart phone (especially an android)

Why waste money on a dongle when your phone will do the exact same thing at no extra cost...........and connect as many devices to it as you wish???

there is no need to buy a dongle it is a waste of money as it uses the exact same network to what your phone connects to.
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 19:12
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Why waste money on a dongle when your phone will do the exact same thing at no extra cost
I quite agree, that's the system I use. The number of simultaneous connections varies from phone to phone but mine will manage up to 8 I believe (never tried with more than 3 at once).

I also agree that "3" have by far the best 3G coverage in the UK.

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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 19:29
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USB Dongle

Of course this all assumes everyone has a smart phone and that it allows tethering.

We use an unlocked Huawei 586 which is a better option as you can

then use it abroad with local sims and change the UK sim if better

deals come along.......................check online whether the Vodafone

unit you have in mind can be unlocked as there are some good deals

that include a Mi Fi unit on a 30 day contract that can then be

cancelled and you end up with the unit.

Agree that 3 has the best coverage and have just cancelled a deal

with Giff Gaff as the signal(from O2) was really really poor.

Gosh a year after getting our first unit I actually feel as if I know

what I am talking about.

Peter and Carmel

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Now that's a great age and a great adventure for a rabbit and I think he deserves a mention.

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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 19:33
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Quote:
If you already have a smart phone (especially an android)

Why waste money on a dongle when your phone will do the exact same thing at no extra cost...........and connect as many devices to it as you wish???

there is no need to buy a dongle it is a waste of money as it uses the exact same network to what your phone connects to.
I have an android phone on O2 and will occasionally use tethering if I haven't got the MiFi or (very seldom) that I can't get a 3 signal on it. However there are various reasons not to use tethering, the most important being that your network provider may prohibit it. The other reason I don't is convenience - if Mrs P is in the van using the internet through my phone and I want to go for a walk or down the shops or whatever, I either have to leave my phone behind or disconnect her. I could then use her phone to tether the connection but it's not worth the hassle.

Peter
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 20:08
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Why is it people are given a cheaper option for the exact same service......then try and convince everyone else that the more expensive option is better.

ALL smartphones allow hotspoting.......it has NOTHING to do with the network.

Tethering is different and CAN BE controlled IF the phone was bought direct from a network..........(tethering is connecting directly with a cable and is not even close to using it as a hotspot)

a mifi/dongle is no different to using your phone....apart you are paying more money for what I can do LEGALLY on my smartphone (never mind the cost of the dongle).

And if you buy a smartphone sim free....you can use whatever sim you feel like anywhere in the world.

And I never assumed a thing......I clearly said..IF YOU already have a smartphone.

The whole point of it being added to your smartphone is for you to use it.....not go out and by a device that only has one job. Why is it some of you are hell bent on using inferior and old technology when you have the option to use a vastly better device at no extra cost?????????? no wonder people leave this site.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 20:15
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Quote:
Why is it people are given a cheaper option for the exact same service......then try and convince everyone else that the more expensive option is better.
It's not exactly the same service - it is far less convenient. It's like saying why would anyone who owns a motorhome want a car as well since surely they can use the motorhome whenever they want to drive anywhere.

Quote:
ALL smartphones allow hotspoting.......it has NOTHING to do with the network.

Tethering is different and CAN BE controlled IF the phone was bought direct from a network..........(tethering is connecting directly with a cable and is not even close to using it as a hotspot)
You may find this description of tethering from Wikipedia informative:

"Tethering refers to connecting one device to another. In the context of mobile phones or Internet tablets, tethering allows sharing the Internet connection of the phone or tablet with other devices such as laptops. Connection of the phone or tablet with other devices can be done over wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), over Bluetooth or by physical connection using a cable, for example through USB.

If tethering is done over Wi-Fi, the feature may be branded as a Mobile Hotspot. The Internet-connected mobile device can thus act as a portable wireless access point and router for devices connected to it."

Peter
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 20:25
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Its an inconvenience to YOU because you can't figure out how to do it quickly and easily.

Peter Wiki is not a source of factual information.....it can be updated and written by any idiot that uses the internet so stop trying to look smart and look at the device you have in your hand and LEARN about it rather than reading and believing crap on the internet.

even wiki itself warns you of the information not being factual.
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 13-08-2014, 20:36
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Quote:
ALL smartphones allow hotspoting.......it has NOTHING to do with the network.
Tethering is different and CAN BE controlled IF the phone was bought direct from a network..........(tethering is connecting directly with a cable and is not even close to using it as a hotspot)
Not sure about that - but I'm no expert - is that why networks always seem to be able to prevent iPhones tethering but rarely Androids.

As for a dedicated MiFi, I can understand that it's probably more convenient, I've got around this in the past by using an old unlocked smartphone which I've used with a local sim then kept permanently on charge and online in one of the van cupboards. I've never had a problem using it as a hotspot, even though the sims I've used have often prohibited tethering.

Interestingly I've just changed my longstanding "3" data contract to a sim only deal which I'll pop in the smartphone and use in France next month (with no roaming charges). The "3" website says I won't be able to tether in France but as the Android phone I use is unlocked (and was from new) I really don't see how they can prevent it - or even detect it.

It'll be interesting to see how it works.

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